It seems a little silly to write three posts about this adventure. It was only respite for goodness sakes.
But here is an additional fact that I didn’t mention. Roly is Situation #3 that I mentioned in a previous Foster Care Update. So while this was a great chance for us to get to know Roly if the situation moves forward, it also made babysitting a bit more complex since we were watching someone who could one day be our daughter.
I asked Wood how he would feel if the agency called with another child. He kind of shrugged and said, “I want Roly.”
The next couple of days were spotted with random Roly story outbreaks or watching videos of her on my phone. We would be riding in the car and one of us would break out.
Remember how she wouldn’t drink her bottle because she was watching me. Remember how her hands and feet would start jumping when she was excited.
When the house was quiet, I would watch one particular video of her with her thumb in her mouth, self-soothing with her other arm covering her face and then her eyes lighting up when I started to play with her. Wood caught me one time and we watched together and then we watched it again, and watched all the the other little weekend vignettes.
Wood wanted to buy her a Christmas present. I demurred. That would be weird you know. Buying a gift for a baby that we kept for two days. Wouldn’t that be strange?
Wood has now gotten extremely comfortable with the idea of foster care / adoption. “So we’ll do the girl first and then maybe a boy,” he says excitedly. He wants me to call the case worker and tell her that we want to move forward with Roly.
“Babe, she’s on vacation. Plus, it’s not in her hands.”
“Well, let me talk to her then,” he says, sure that his opinion can sway the whole foster care process.
He thinks I’m too detached from the situation. He’s all in on Roly and I seem to have gotten over her. It’s not entirely true. I’m pragmatic. I’m the one who has the conversations with the case worker, who has been reading the forums and first-hand accounts of how foster care works. I know that this is not in our hands and could go left at any time. I’m also remembering that a plus for us is a minus for another family. I’m remembering Roly’s mother.
RL told me a story of a visit where Roly’s mother told her, through the translator, that Roly didn’t know her name. “She does,” RL exclaimed, saying her name loudly so that Roly would respond. The translator relayed that RL, as well as the caseworkers involved, had been pronouncing her name wrong. She’s been in foster care since she was 10 days old. So Roly really didn’t know her name. I grieved doubly for that woman. She will never get her child back and she knows that her baby doesn’t know her name.
I make a promise. If Roly is placed with us, I will figure out how to say her name properly. She will know the name her mother gave her.
Roly’s foster parents invited us to church this past Sunday. We declined. We both didn’t want to be swept up in the Roly whirlwind with no clue of how this might turn up. Wood’s heart is too fragile, and my guard is too high. We like the foster parents and want to develop an ongoing support relationship with them but don’t want Roly to seem like the cause. We are unsure of how to manage this. So we avoid for now.
A little over a week later, we seem back to normal, but here I am still writing about this. So I guess it’s not.